It seemed innocent enough.
Last month a friend took me to see a hockey game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Calgary Flames. As we entered the arena a woman with a clipboard was waiting to see if we wanted to sign up to win a "prize," including maybe a vacation / cruise.
Well, Netter and I haven't been on a "real vacation," let alone a cruise in quite some time so I thought - sure I'll sign up.
My friend and I talked about it as we walked away.
We thought if we did "win a prize," we'd win the lowest prize on the rung.
We knew that there was probably some "come listen to our presentation" gimmick involved in actually claiming the prize.
We both agreed that the only way we would go listen is if we won the cruise.
We then enjoyed the CBJ's 5-0 trouncing of the Flames and I forgot all about the prize.
Fast forward to just 2 weeks ago. (Did that sound funny?) Our home phone rings, and for some unknown reason I decide to answer it.
We've been talking about losing the home phone for quite sometime now. We all have cell phones, and take the larger majority of our calls on that mobile device. Initially we had kept the land line because we had a DSL connection. Recently however, we had switched to cable, (Anybody need a DSL modem?) and I have been trying to track down all the places that have our home number to change that contact information. I'd say we're about 95% of the way to having that accomplished and getting rid of the home phone altogether.
Oh, I forgot to mention what may be the most important reason we want to lose the home phone. You ready for this?
Since we have started changing over our contact info just about every time the home phone rings we know it is probably a telemarketer.
And still I answered it.
Caller (April) : "Hi this is April from Sundance Vacations." (I considered putting a link there, but don't want to give them the traffic.) Is this James?
Me: It is, and I am not interested.
April: Don't you want to know what you're not interested in.
Me: Trying to be nice here.
April: Well you signed up for this.
Me: Okay, tell me what I signed up for.
April then went on to relate to me that I had signed up at the hockey game, gave me the date of the hockey game, included the score of the game and said that for an hour of my time I was "guaranteed a cruise."
I repeated what she said verbatim, and my very alert wife said - "What about airfare to get where the cruise is leaving from?"
Of course, I repeated the question for April. She informed me that they had a limited number of airfares available, but that if I could come before Saturday they would have airfare for me. It was already Thursday evening. We had an activity of some sort on Friday and I worked on Saturday.
As nicely as I could I told April that I really appreciated the call and her patience, but we just weren't interested and to please give the prize to someone who either had a free schedule at a moments notice or could afford the airfare. I hung up.
About a week later there was a message on the chalkboard in our kitchen - from April.
What the heck?
The next day I called Sundance Vacations and explained to Mandy, who took the call because April was on another line, that we were not interested, could not afford the airfare, etc... and so on.
Mandy said - Oh we have airfare. We have everything. I don't know why April told you we didn't. We just need an hour of your time.
Intrigued I said "Really, airfare and everything?"
Mandy answered in the affirmative. I told her I would have to check my schedule, (i.e. run this by Netter) and I might just call her back.
Then right before she hung up Mandy said, Okay, that's a cruise for two, and airfare. All you would be responsible for is taxes.
AH HAH! I knew it. I just started to laugh. Free my Eye! (Okay, I didn't say Eye, but this is a family blog.)
I didn't go off on Mandy like I wanted to. I couldn't. I was laughing too hard. Instead I just said goodbye and hung up the phone. My might call had obviously just turned into I'm not calling, though I did share the story with Netter when I got home and we had a good laugh.
You'll never believe what happened next.
Yep, they called back. Unfortunately for them, they called right before the Red Wings' playoff game yesterday evening - like in the last 30 seconds before I was going to answer any phone for the next 2.5 hours.
"Hi we're calling from Sundance Vacations..."
I couldn't help it. I cut them off totally saying - pretty loudly actually.
When are you people going to get it? We don't want your prize. We can't afford the prize. We can't afford the taxes. It's not free and you know it. Please take us off your list and stop calling us NOW!
I wonder if they got it?
I get that it's really my fault for even signing up in the first place, but still very frustrating, very frustrating indeed.
14 hours ago